Kai – The Sumatran-Siberian Tiger

On June 17, 2022 we welcomed “Kai” Sumatran-Siberian Tiger, the tallest tiger in Australia,  who arrived from Dreamworld.

Kai was born July 25, 2015 and is the older brother to Akasha. He weighs in over 160kg and is almost 9 foot tall when he stands tall on his hind legs.  {Image Kai Standing}

Kai is a very confident and playful cat. He is very inquisitive with new things and loves being around people. He has a special bond with his keepers and will greet them with many ‘chuffs’ each morning.

Kai can be seen sleeping or sitting up proud in a high vantage point in the state-of-the-art enclosure, overlooking the park and its visitors.

He is a star when it comes to the daily tiger presentation at 2.30pm, having no problem in joining his keepers at the front of his enclosure while they feed him and educate guests about tiger conservation and the threats these beautiful creatures face in the wild. Kai takes enjoyment in his enrichment offered by his keepers, always trying to work out and understand the activities he is provided with. Kai puts on a show of strength, skill, and smarts as he interacts with different items and activities such as his tree climb, a carcass feed or even his pool barrel. Kai is such an important part of the Ballarat Wildlife Park family and a ‘king ambassador’ of tiger conservation.

Akasha – The Sumatran-Siberian Tiger

On May 19, 2023 we welcomed “Akasha” Sumatran-Siberian Tiger,  who also arrived from Dreamworld.

Akasha is a younger sister to Kai and joins the Ballarat Wildlife Park family as the newest arrival (from Dreamworld in Queensland). Akasha is a very smart, food-motivated cat who takes particular interest in sensory related enrichment such as scatter feeds and an array of herbs and spices. While Akasha and Kai didn’t always see eye to eye growing up, they will work together as ambassadors for tiger conservation and provide guests with an up-close insight into how beautiful and important these animals are. Akasha weighs in over 120kg and like her brother is very athletic and interactive with her surroundings. Akasha loves water and can be seen enjoying a swim in her enclosure, as she did throughout the years showing of her diving ability to many guests up at Dreamworld.

The Ballarat Wildlife Park is the only place in Victoria that offers a special, interactive tiger encounter. Guests can feed the tigers under supervision of the Ballarat Wildlife Park’s dedicated keepers, while learning about tiger conservation, and sharing an incredible connection with Kai or Akasha.

The Tiger (Panthera Tigris)

The tiger (Panthera Tigris) is the largest living cat species and a member of the genus Panthera. The tiger is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on orange fur with a white underside. They are agile, with flexible bodies designed for running, jumping, and climbing. Heavily muscled forelimbs, retractable claws, powerful jaws, sharp teeth, and acute senses make them awesome hunters. An apex predator, it primarily preys on ungulates, such as deer and wild boar.

All tiger subspecies from around the world are now listed as either endangered or critically endangered.

In the past century tiger numbers have declined from over 100,000 to now less than 4,000 remaining in the wild today due to human impact. The world’s tiger population is threatened by habitat loss resulting from mining, logging, farming, palm oil plantations, settlements, roads, and railways.

It is the Ballarat Wildlife Park’s mission to promote a sustainable world that includes those that inhabit and captivate us throughout the animal kingdom, and our ambassadors Kai and Akasha are a key part of the Park’s tiger conservation and education program.

Ballarat Wildlife Park is supporting tiger conservation efforts via the Tiger Protection Conservation Units (TPCU). The TPCU are rangers known for disabling snares, following leads, solving tiger-human conflict and providing evidence for legal proceedings. Their continual work is contributing to saving the Sumatran tiger species. If you would like to support the TPCU, please get in contact with us.


‘Prusten’ (also referred to as chuffing or chuffle) is a form of communicative behaviour exhibited by some members of the family Felidae.

It is described as a short, low intensity, non-threatening vocalization. In order to vocalize a chuff, the animal’s mouth is closed, and air is blown through the nostrils, producing a breathy snort. It is often used between two cats as a greeting, during courting, or by a mother comforting her cubs


All tigers are currently are listed as an endangered or critically endangered species.

This is due to human impact (as with nearly all endangered species) but there are a couple of things we can all do to try and change that!
One of those things is donate to organisations that work to increase tiger populations in their home range countries, the WildCats Conservation Alliance is one such organisation, donations can be made here: https://donations.zsl.org/wildcats/

Another is a little more everyday, Sumatran tigers have lost huge amounts of their habitat due to deforestation, in Indonesia this primarily occurs due to the need to supply land for the palm oil industry, palm oil is found in around 50% of the products in our supermarkets and in Australia it doesn’t have to be clearly listed on products, so going palm oil free is a simple change we can all make to lessen our impact on the planet, slowly changing the demand for palm oil will hopefully lead to a decrease in the land required to grow it and enable reforestation throughout Indonesia allowing tiger populations to reconnect and increase.

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